The Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:59 pm on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:59 pm, 24th October 2019

First, the IFS does not predict that at all, so the Gentleman should check his facts. Secondly, I gently point out to him that debt is brought under control by controlling borrowing. Borrowing is the deficit, and the deficit was what the Labour party left at 10% of GDP, but it is now four fifths less than that. Controlling borrowing is how we bring debt under control.

Better infrastructure and fiscal responsibility will enable our future economic growth, but so will trade. Ninety per cent. of future global economic growth is estimated to be outside Europe, with more than a quarter coming from China alone. Britain has always been an open country that believes in free trade. British businesses have strong trading relationships around the world. The new deal that we have agreed with the EU will allow us to have an independent trade policy and to strike new trade agreements with countries around the world, and the new trade Bill will put that into practice. Let me compare that with Labour’s position on trade. Labour would lock us into the EU customs union, ending any chance of an independent trade policy. How did Labour’s head of trade policy describe Labour’s views? He said:

“We reject the whole principle of free trade.”

Our support for free trade is not the only thing that marks Britain out on the global stage. Our remarkable financial services sector, which is now back to good health, does so, too. It is not just the City of London; our financial services sector involves the entire UK. All our financial and professional services firms truly are a national asset, employing more than a million people and contributing more than £130 billion to our economy every year. The financial services legislation that we brought forward in the Queen’s Speech will maintain and enhance our position as a world-leading financial centre after we leave the EU.

This Queen’s Speech gets Brexit done, invests more to grow the economy, and delivers on the people’s priorities: action on infrastructure, trade and financial services, and a new economic plan for a new decade of renewal.